Football fans who are beginning to suffer withdrawal effects now that Euro 2004 has ended have only a few weeks to pretend to be interested in other sports until the new season begins. And as the BBC’s flagship football programme has secured the rights to show Premiership highlights next season, it’s hello to a new-look, spruced-up, relaunched broadcast: Match of the D.
Former England and Leicester City striker Gary Lineker will be replaced in the role of lead presenter by Acerbia D, whom BBC Sport executives are reported to have described as “cheaper”. BBC director of sport Peter Salmon said: “We are delighted to be able to show Premier League highlights on Match of the D, and when Peter Reid turned us down, we could think of no-one less qualified than Acerbia to present the show.”
“He has discussed the format of the new show with the producers extremely carefully and along with Alan Hansen and Gordon Strachan in the studio, he captures the English essence of the Premiership perfectly. We will be trialling new innovations such as the PunCam from the first show and it’s something we’re all very excited about.”
Rival broadcaster ITV1 were understood to be less than happy at the capture of Acerbia’s signature on a three-year deal to present the highlights package. Brian Barwick, head of ITV sport, refused to go on record but was seen in the North London area conducting a stop-and-search operation on all squirrels across several postcodes in an attempt to locate the new anchorman.
Club managers and professional footballers alike have been unanimous in their praise for the revamped show and its presenter. Sir Alex Ferguson described him as “who?”, Sir Bobby Robson confused him with Shola Ameobi, Arsène Wenger went on record to say that “I have never seen Acerbia in my life”, and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has offered the BBC £25 million plus Joe Cole for Acerbia D’s services in midfield.